Bleaching curly hair-- is there a way to do it without it taking my curls?

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  • 1 Post By mia12
  • 1 Post By tiffanynichols
  • 1 Post By _afro'dite

My hair recently has been very damaged by bleach and it has taken the curl completely out of my hair. I had to cut all the damage off and now it is much healthier. My natural hair color is a level 2-- practically black. Right now my hair is a deep red but I want it brighter. I know that I can't achieve that really without bleaching it. So, I was wondering if there is a way to bleach my hair without it taking the curl out? I won't hafta bleach it much. Just enough to get it an orangey color. But I don't wanna lose my curls. Thanks.
First, let me get this disclaimer out of the way: I am not a cosmetologist, I color and bleach my hair myself, and these are the things that have worked for me. I have yet to experience any damage or breakage from bleach.

Okay, so two methods come to mind in terms of bleach and retaining your curl pattern. The first is to use low volume developer and ammonia free bleach. This is what I do to bleach my hair. I have off black hair that is about a level 1 and if I had to type my hair, Iíd say I was a type 4. I use ionís sensitive scalp 20 volume developer and ion color brilliance ammonia free lightener. Itís powder bleach that uses potassium persulfate instead of ammonia as a bleaching agent. Now, itís debatable whether potassium persulfate is preferable to ammonia persulfate, but that is another conversation. Iíve never used an ammonia based powder, so I just stick to what has been working for me. You can buy both of these products at sallyís. I only use a 20 volume developer because it is unnecessary to use developers with higher concentrations of peroxide. You are more likely to damage your hair if you use a 30 or 40 vol. not because they are stronger, but because they lift at a faster rate. Even with my natural level 1 black hair, I can get to a dark blonde color in one session. Iíve been thinking about trying a 10 volume next time because that would be even better for my hair.

The next option is to use the Clairol mix tones clear with their 20 vol. clairoxide developer. Clairol suggests using this as a replacement for their old luminize product. Iíve never used it, but it has good reviews on sallyís website. I might try it in the future. The advantage to using this instead of the previous method is that lightens the hair without any bleach at all. Here are two links that explain the process in detail:

How I achieve my color - CurlyNikki Forums

Discontinued Products & Recommendations from Clairol Professional (scroll down to the 4th product)

No matter how you lighten your hair, it is important to maintain its health by incorporating more protein into your regimen. I use a light protein conditioner whenever I feel like I need it, and I use the aphogee two-step treatment every 6 to 8 weeks. I have yet to experience any change in my curl pattern.

So, thatís it! Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to make sure I explained everything in detail.
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Last edited by mia12; 05-28-2012 at 08:40 PM.
This is about the color of my hair after using the first method:
Attached Thumbnails
Bleaching curly hair-- is there a way to do it without it taking my curls?-dscn1831.jpg   Bleaching curly hair-- is there a way to do it without it taking my curls?-imgres-1.jpeg  
Thanks so much for the reply. Whenever I decide to lighten my hair, I will definitely try one of the options you gave me
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wow, mia thanks for breaking this down bec I've been wondering about this for a while!

I want to bleach the middle-front section of my hair, which is wavy whereas the rest of my hair is coily (all type 4)

question: can I periodically "check" to see if the color is "done" to the point where I want it?

My hair is low porosity and I'd like the lighter shade of Bey's hair in the picture. My natural color is probably a 2, if that helps determine how long I can leave in a vol 10... TIA!
wow, mia thanks for breaking this down bec I've been wondering about this for a while!

I want to bleach the middle-front section of my hair, which is wavy whereas the rest of my hair is coily (all type 4)

question: can I periodically "check" to see if the color is "done" to the point where I want it?

My hair is low porosity and I'd like the lighter shade of Bey's hair in the picture. My natural color is probably a 2, if that helps determine how long I can leave in a vol 10... TIA!
Originally Posted by _afro'dite
Glad I could help you out. In regards to your question, youíre supposed to check your hair periodically to see if it has been lifted to your desired color. You should check it every 10 minutes or so to see if it is light enough. If you can get to the level you want in 30 minutes rather than 40, by all means, rinse it out and wash your hair. The goal is to get the lightener off your hair as soon as possible. If youíre bleaching without foils, sometimes you can just look at it and see what color it is. You might have to wipe a bit off with your finger to see it clearly. If youíre using foils, just open it and take a look. Sallyís even sells transparent foils that allow you to check your hair without opening them. I just use the traditional foils, but the transparent ones could be useful for someone who really wants to keep an eye on their color.

As far as how long the leave the lightener on, I canít really say. Everyoneís hair is different. Your processing time is effected by your natural color, any chemicals or dyes you already have in your hair, your texture, and your hairís level of porosity. Youíll just have to try it and see. The maximum time you should leave it on is about 50 minutes. I can go from black to blond with a 20 volume developer in about 40 minutes or so. It may or may not take you that long. I havenít tried a 10 volume yet, but I would think that it would take closer to 50 minutes to get the same color. The 10 volume would take longer to achieve the same results because its lower oxygen content causes the mixture to process slower. However, since your hair is a level 2 with low porosity, you might want to start with the 20 volume, especially if youíre going for the color in the second picture. If your hair comes out too brassy for your taste, you can tone it to reduce the unwanted pigments.
Glad I could help you out. In regards to your question, youíre supposed to check your hair periodically to see if it has been lifted to your desired color. You should check it every 10 minutes or so to see if it is light enough. If you can get to the level you want in 30 minutes rather than 40, by all means, rinse it out and wash your hair. The goal is to get the lightener off your hair as soon as possible. If youíre bleaching without foils, sometimes you can just look at it and see what color it is. You might have to wipe a bit off with your finger to see it clearly. If youíre using foils, just open it and take a look. Sallyís even sells transparent foils that allow you to check your hair without opening them. I just use the traditional foils, but the transparent ones could be useful for someone who really wants to keep an eye on their color.

As far as how long the leave the lightener on, I canít really say. Everyoneís hair is different. Your processing time is effected by your natural color, any chemicals or dyes you already have in your hair, your texture, and your hairís level of porosity. Youíll just have to try it and see. The maximum time you should leave it on is about 50 minutes. I can go from black to blond with a 20 volume developer in about 40 minutes or so. It may or may not take you that long. I havenít tried a 10 volume yet, but I would think that it would take closer to 50 minutes to get the same color. The 10 volume would take longer to achieve the same results because its lower oxygen content causes the mixture to process slower. However, since your hair is a level 2 with low porosity, you might want to start with the 20 volume, especially if youíre going for the color in the second picture. If your hair comes out too brassy for your taste, you can tone it to reduce the unwanted pigments.
Originally Posted by mia12

omg. thank you! thank you! thank you! I am so excited about this now! lol My strands are kinda fine so I'm proceeding with LOTS of caution. I'll probably end up doing two sessions to I reach my honey if I think I'm going to over-process.

Anyway, I googled "toning" and found some really good info, esp. about enhancers vs. correctors. If there's any brasiness I think I will try something like the Clairol shampoo/condish first. (I used to use it for my natural color...pretty cool. I'm just more ingredient-cautious now).

If I still need a real toner, is there any particular brand you like best or think is gentlest? Thanks so much for all your help!
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